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G-400 Deluxe upgrades

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So I'm finally about to buy all of the stuff to upgrade the electronics in my G-400 Deluxe w/ Maestro. Originally, I was dead set on getting Gibson pups for it, but I just don't want to spend the cash. Today I was playing through my Fender '73 Deluxe Reverb and to my surprise, I think I now actually LIKE the Epi Classic Hot in the bridge! Maybe I got too caught up in the thought of upgrading. It's not the best, but it ain't bad either. The neck pup has to go though. Based on the reviews I have seen on this forum, I think I'll try one of the GFS Mean 90s in the neck position.

 

The other changes will be what seems to be the standard= CTS pots, Switchcraft jack and toggle, and orange drop caps,ect. What type of wiring should I use? This site HERE comes with "metal braid wire" in their upgrade kit. I couldn't find an SG upgrade kit on Guitarfetish.com, but in the description of their LP upgrade kit it seems to suggest just reusing the old wire. I'd like to hear some opinions on what the best way to go on this is.

 

Should I shield the cavity before I do all of this? And also, I still wouldn't rule out changing the bridge 'bucker IF I find the right one. Anyone know how the GFS Vintage '59 compares to the Epi Classic Hot? Pros, cons, ect? My main objective for changing pickups is MORE clarity and definition. I usually play stuff with a moderate crunch or slight distortion. I do not play death metal or any of that nonsense, pretty much just alternative rock and classic rock if that helps.Any thoughts and opinions will be appreciated as always.

 

One more thing, I'll probably need to buy new knobs to fit with the USA pots right?

 

Oh yeah, sorry for the long-winded post. [biggrin]

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Super,

 

First things first.

I'm guessing you will like the neck Mean90 with the stock bridge pup. The bridge is not nearly as muddy as the neck. If you change your mind later it is no big deal to change it out. The Mean 90 has a nice rounded sound and will go well with the humbucker.

 

As to the rest of the mods.

Just so there is no mistake, Have you called or contacted GPR to verify what kind of CTS pots? 2 audio/2 linear?

What is stock in the guitar is likely B linear volumes and A audio tones.(it is also my personal preference) The CTS are just better quality. If you have a different preference you should get it sorted out before ordering.

Also, make sure you tape over or around the holes in your guitar before opening them up. (Helps prevent chipping the finish)

 

As to shielding.

I have never done it on an Epiphone. (even with Mean 90s or regular P90s for that matter) I'm sure it couldn't hurt but, I have found Epi's painted shielding that comes in the guitar to be satisfactory so far.

 

As to rewiring....YES!

You are taking everything out of the guitar anyway. Do a good job putting the new stuff back in.

I like the vintage braided push back wire. (I'm old fashioned) Many people find it a pain to work with.

If you want conventional wire just make sure it is 22 gauge and stranded. Wire is inexpensive. 22gauge makes for good connections and is easy to work with being slightly thicker. The stranded also makes it easier to work with and easier to solder. You might want a small amount of solid wire though. It is good for connecting the back of the pots for grounding. (Although it can be done with any wire)

 

I don't have an SG but here are before and after shots of wiring in the Special I just redid.

(Taken before installing caps)

 

BEFORE:

spagetti.jpg

 

AFTER:

IMG_1715-1.jpg

(Excuse the alligator clips, I was testing caps.)

 

After installing caps:

IMG_1746.jpg

Don't let the five wires coming from the body confuse you. I use vintage wire so it takes 3 wires to connect the switch.

 

Edit: If you decide to use conventional wire, make sure it is shielded. (lead wire and ground combined)

Makes for less wires in the control cavity and less potential for noise. (not that you would get any from such short runs)

Also...be careful not to damage your bridge ground wire!!!

It is the one wire you WILL re-use.

 

Willy

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Thanks for the insights Willy. All I know about the pots from GPR is that it says that kit comes with "4 CTS 500k split shaft volume pots". Yes, I believe the pots in mine are 2 500k A and 2 500k B (I'll check again to make sure). The audio pots work for all four though right? Are there benefits from using 2 audio/2 linear as opposed to 4 audio? I mean I don't have to order the kit, I can just buy all of the components individually if need be. I was want to make sure that it's the RIGHT stuff.

 

BTW, You're "AFTER" wiring pic looks nice and clean and I hope I can get mine that good. However, the "BEFORE" pic looks even more delicious.

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BTW, You're "AFTER" wiring pic looks nice and clean and I hope I can get mine that good. However, the "BEFORE" pic looks even more delicious.

LOL.....

 

This is where it gets a little confusing.

The argument has been going on since Moses was a baby.

I am of the opinion that Gibson and Epiphone got it right. B for vol. A for Tone.

MANY will disagree.

Some say Audio for volume and Audio or linear for tone. (I've tried both and I still prefer the aforementioned.)

To me, it seems to have the smoothest and most useful roll off.

 

Just to make it a little more confusing:

The other thing to decide (as long as you are rewiring) is which of the four standard types of wiring you want.

50s, modern (it's what you have as stock), 50s with independent volumes or modern with independent volumes.

 

Willy

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Just to make it a little more confusing:

The other thing to decide (as long as you are rewiring) is which of the four standard types of wiring you want.

50s, modern (it's what you have as stock), 50s with independent volumes or modern with independent volumes.

 

 

](*,)[scared][cursing]

 

 

Which do you think would work best with the Mean 90 neck/Classic Hot bridge combo? The way it is now seems like it would be fine, but when I find out the differences, I may not get this done until Easter! LMAO

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Which do you think would work best with the Mean 90 neck/Classic Hot bridge combo? The way it is now seems like it would be fine, but when I find out the differences, I may not get this done until Easter! LMAO

 

Before I get into that allow me to say, concerning neatness: I also did not have to deal with the toggle switch being in the control cavity.

 

The rest is not that confusing once you look at the diagrams. Animalfarm has them in the his DIY thread.

50's vs modern is just a matter of which legs the cap is soldered to.

Independent vs Non-independent is simply a matter of reversing where the pickup wire and the switch wire are soldered to the volume pot.

 

I do not know all the electronic jargon so I will keep this as simple as I can.

Each wiring style has it's advantages and disadvantages.

The following are only my opinions based on my unscientific testing.

 

50s wiring advantages: more natural (some say woody) warm sound. Tone does not darken when reducing volume.

Disadvantages: Not as bright (sharp sounding) as modern at 10. Darkening tone will roll off volume very slightly.

 

Modern (stock) wiring advantages: Brighter (sharper) with volume and tone at 10.

Disadvantages: Rolling off volume will darken tone (noticeably). Not as "warm" sounding.

 

Independent volumes advantages: In middle position both volumes and tones can be used independently. More versatility.

Disadvantages: (Now this one I can't say for sure as I do not have a high gain amp.) but I have seen other report:

With independent volumes the pickups are always at full power and you are attenuating the output.

I am told that because of this there can be a noticeable power hum even when the pickups are off through high gain amps. Not good between songs when playing out.

Also you can't turn your "mixed volume" up or down in center position by simply reducing one volume.

 

Dependent volumes: Those you should already be aware of as they are the stock setup on your guitar.

 

Anyone that cares to amend any of the comments above on independent volumes is welcome and will not hurt my feelings.

I have tried them, but I have no experience with them through high gain amps. I use the non-independent as I like the way the controls work when switching from center position to lead.

 

My personal preference is 50s dependent. But that's just me.

If I was a younger guy playing modern rock I would probably stick with the modern wiring.

 

Willy

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Thanks a ton for breaking all of that down and for all of the help so far. I really appreciate you taking the time.

 

No problem, but remember that a lot of this is my opinion.

With a little luck maybe Jerrymac will chime in.

He knows a lot more about electronics than I do.

 

Willy

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No problem, but remember that a lot of this is my opinion.

With a little luck maybe Jerrymac will chime in.

He knows a lot more about electronics than I do.

 

Willy

 

 

Right on. That's why I like this place. Everyone offers their own opinions and thoughts on how to do stuff and you can just take bits and pieces of info and decide what the best solution is.

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This is where it gets a little confusing.

The argument has been going on since Moses was a baby.

I am of the opinion that Gibson and Epiphone got it right. B for vol. A for Tone.

MANY will disagree.

Some say Audio for volume and Audio or linear for tone. (I've tried both and I still prefer the aforementioned.)

To me, it seems to have the smoothest and most useful roll off.

 

 

Yep, I checked earlier and mine has 2 A's and 2 B's. All of the sites that offer "upgrade kits" seem to come with 4 audios. At least the ones I have seen do.

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Yep, I checked earlier and mine has 2 A's and 2 B's. All of the sites that offer "upgrade kits" seem to come with 4 audios. At least the ones I have seen do.

 

Couple of ideas.

You have an idea what you want. Why buy a kit?

You can order whatever pots, wire, caps, jack and switch you want from:

http://www.guitarelectronics.com/

Sorry, no gold 90 degree switchcraft toggle switches.

 

For a few extra bucks you can even order 2 linear CTS pots and 4 audio. Then you can experiment and deside what you like.

They even have high tolerance CTS Audios :

(Custom split tolerance of +8%/-2% prevents tone loss from load mismatches and low pot values. (Standard pot values can vary by +/-20%!))

They have CTS linear pots but they are standard tolerance. Still...good pots.

or....

Give a call to Hoagland Brothers.

The call might cost a couple of bucks but they are good people to deal with and they sell MATCHED SETS.

You just have to know what you want.

They will set you up with a set of 4 matched pots. You will have to ask if you want 2 audio and 2 linear or if you want 4 audio. They charge more on their website but they will normally match their Ebay price of $35 for a set of four matched CTS pots. (you can verify by checking Ebay search. (500k CTS pots)

The only thing about Hoagland is that they normally carry steel shaft CTS instead of brass shaft. Never bothered me but it might make a difference to you.

 

You can still order the rest of the stuff from Guitarelectronics.

 

Sounds like you are trying to do everything up right.

Keep up the good Work!

 

Willy

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Willy,

 

Thanks for the heads up about this thread, too.

 

I've gotten more succinct answers here that I have in two weeks of searching on my own. As for your answers being opinion based, keep 'em coming!

 

Of course, you and I have very similar opinions, so I may have a bot of a bias in your favor!

 

Seriously, thanks very, very much, man!

 

-Fud

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Right on. That's why I like this place. Everyone offers their own opinions and thoughts

on how to do stuff and you can just take bits and pieces of info and decide what the

best solution is.

 

I've gotten more succinct answers here that I have in two weeks of searching on my own.

Seriously, thanks very, very much, man!

 

A big [thumbup] for the help that you've received!

That's what I LIKE about this Forum - lots of members with a wide range of experience,

who don't mind taking the time to try to help resolve issues/problems. Some of the

other Forums, not always so helpful....

 

SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOF TOPS!!!! WE ARE.............

 

Flo-Post-090710.jpg

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